Ten years ago, Orkut marked Google’s first foray into the social networking arena before people even knew what social media was. The problem is no one really knows what Orkut is either as the service never took off in the U.S. despite some success in India and Brazil. Google isn’t one to dwell in the past for too long, however. It has shown a tendency to shut down services with stagnant growth, like it’s closing of the Reader app and several others last year. Now Google plans to pull the chord on Orkut by shutting down the site come September 30, 2014.
In a statement released on Google’s Orkut blog:
Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, we’ve decided to bid Orkut farewell (or, tchau). We’ll be focusing our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them.
Google announced that users will be able to export their Orkut data using Google Takeout for another two years until September 2014. Google also mentioned that Orkut’s online communities will be preserved and available online even after Orkut shuts down.
Given the slow down on G+ and Google shifting much of its engineering talent to the Android platform, you have to wonder how long it will take before the axe comes down on Google+ too.